On November 13th the ‘Osiris’ theatre of the Costa Mediterranea was the venue for the entire AEHT membership who came together for the traditional Ordinary General Assembly; it was chaired for the last time by Klaus Enengl who had come to the end of his four-year mandate, which he had begun in Dubrovnik in 2009.
For the occasion he was flanked by his Vice-presidents Louis Robert, Ana Paula Pais, Boguslawa Pienkowska, Neeme Rand, Herman Siebens; by his treasurer Hans Russegger, his General Secretary Nadine Schintgen, his assistant Xavier Thein; by the webmaster Ahti Paju and the interpreter Natalia Komanicka.
In his welcome speech Klaus Enengl expressed his regret that for technical reasons it had not been possible to have the usual services of interpreters for simultaneous translation. The assembly had been provided with the usual green, yellow and red voting cards and quickly made use of them to adopt unanimously the agenda for the meeting and to approve at the same time the minutes of the 25th General Assembly which had been held in 2012 in Ohrid, Macedonia. In the latter vote there was a single yellow card indicating abstention.
In his speech the President admitted that organising the 2013 Annual Conference on a boat had indeed been a crazy idea and that it had obviously been a special year, which had inevitably created a lot of work for the Presidium. 'My thanks to my Vice-Presidents for these four years spent with you.'
Speaking of the elections, which had taken place the previous day at the Executive Board meeting, Klaus Enengl announced to the assembly that posts of representatives for Cyprus and Greece were vacant. He also pointed out that the 2013 Annual Conference had brought together delegates from 32 countries, that Christmas in Europe attracted delegates from 16 countries, that the second session of the Youth Parliament held in Iceland had brought together nine countries and that the next parliamentary session would take place in Poreč in Croatia. ‘Send us your young people’ he appealed to the assembly.
Recalling the four years of his presidency ‘which had passed very quickly’ he presented Vice-president Anna Paula Pais who now becomes President – to applause from the whole assembly. He thanked all those schools which have placed, and continue to place their trust in the AEHT, and announced with some emotion that Louis Robert, an early member who had devoted 22 years to the work of the Presidium, including two mandates as President, was finally leaving the Presidium; and that Treasurer Hans Russegger was also leaving after 21 years of service!
VICE PRESIDENTS’ REPORTS
Louis Robert, responsible for events, emphasised, as had the President, that this year 2013 had been a very different year because of the cruise which had required much more investment in terms of organisational work, with more than 700 participants.
He also mentioned Christmas in Europe, the AEHT’s second key event, which would be taking place from December 8th to December 14th in Marseilles. Christiane Keller, the originator and supervisor of the event, received a spontaneous and sustained round of applause from the assembly.
In conclusion, Louis Robert humorously quipped that ‘he had tears in his eyes as he left his post but that he would remain a true friend of the AEHT’ – words which earned him a warm standing ovation.
Boguslawa Pienkowska, Vice-President with responsibility for placements, once again expressed her regret at the problems relating to the cancellation of the ACCOR placements; she mentioned the contacts in Germany which had yet to produce results and a possible Portuguese network which would she hoped would be finalised 'in two or there months, after negotiations for the same conditions, and possibly placements in individual hotels'. Finally she expressed her hope that she would have further information for next March.
Responsible for work placements as well as for ‘quality management and business ethics’, Herman Siebens raised two issues. Internships for six teachers in the Starwood group; all have sent positive feedback. For its part, Starwood hopes to increase this number. Herman Siebens also appealed to all national representatives to forward this information to their respective schools.
As regards "quality and ethics," Herman Siebens invited the audience to attend the seminar organized during this conference. This kind of seminars meets a growing interest each year, this year with thirty participants. Regarding the enquiry launched last year on the activities of "networking", Herman Siebens came to the conclusion that there are no such activities, except for Flanders (Belgium). The AEHT should change this in the future to become more attractive to current and future members, who expect this as return on investment. ‘With the help of the Presidium, I will launch such a program in the coming years’.
Ana Paula Pais, Vice-President in charge of the calendar of the various activities, gave a brief reminder of the numerous activities which had taken place in 2013, and gave an account of those already announced for 2014, namely:
Chocolate Festival in February in the Azores; Seminar on Kolobrzeg – country of flavours of the sea in March in Poland; in April the 9th G&T bar competition in Bled; Flavours and Film in Faro in Portugal; 16th edition of the Bartolomeo Scappi International Competition, Castel San Pietro Terme in Italy, second ‘Aveiro Fish and culinary arts’ festival in Portugal. In May the wines of the Douro in Lamego, Portugal. In June ten days and ten chefs in the Azores. In September a seminar on the level two diplomas in wines and spirits of the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) in Maribor. In October, a seminar and competition entitled ‘Improvement and promotion of the wines of Pisa and its province’ in Italy as well as the 22nd edition of the Junior bartenders competition Eurocup 2014 in Presov. In November the 27th Annual Conference in Belgrade in Serbia. In December the 23rd Christmas in Europe in Prešov in Slovakia, and the Atlantic Chocolate Festival in the Azores.
Neeme Rand, Vice-President in charge of the website and related matters, gave a complete report, with supporting statistics, of the considerable activity in his area of responsibility. He acknowledged the contribution of webmaster Ahti Paju, and invited the assembly to applaud his work.
Treasurer Hans Russegger, another AEHT veteran with 21 years on the clock, confined himself to presenting several sheets showing on the one hand a summary of the 2012 profit and loss account, as well as a list of resigning schools (29), those excluded (33) and those admitted as new members (17 of which 3 were reintegrations).
All the reports were unanimously accepted with a show of green cards.
Jürgen Clausen and Danielle Snauwaert, the auditors, had travelled to the Head Office on July 12th to carry out their task. They found that the book-keeping carried out by Stéphanie Marion-Cortes was impeccable and therefore requested that the Presidium declare their task satisfactorily completed. Again the green cards were held up to show unanimous approval.
Also Jürgen Clausen, speaking on behalf of the Council of Elders, conveyed his warm congratulations to Ana Paula Pais, who had just been elected President.
In a short speech Ana Paula Pais thanked the Assembly and expressed the hope that everyone would give her their strong support; she then asked for applause for Klaus Enengl in recognition of his presidency, and asked her Vice-Presidents to help her in her task. The outcome of the previous day’s elections at the Executive Board meeting were approved, again unanimously and with green cards, and Xavier Thein, Nadine Schintgen’s assistant, was introduced to the Assembly.
Klaus Enengl expressed his joy that the calendar already contained the upcoming Annual Conferences, which in principle would take place as follows: 2014 Serbia, 2015 Ukraine, 2016 Turkey, 2017 Belgium, 2018 Italy, 2019 Croatia, 2020 …………………, 2021 Austria!
He invited the new Presidium to come onto the platform; they are, from left to right:
Nadine Schintgen, Klaus Enengl, Neeme Rand, Boguslawa Pienkowska, Herman Siebens, Remko Koerts and Ana Paula Pais. All of them smiling broadly!
There were several more speeches by those presenting the 2014 activities already mentioned by Ana Paula Pais, and these were rounded off by the presentation by Goran Kovačević, supported by a video, relating to the 27th Annual Conference to be held in Belgrade, Serbia from November 17th to November 22nd 2014.
Thus it was that the General Assembly ended at 13.00 in a good humoured atmosphere.